I moved to London almost a year ago and wow it’s an awesome city. I moved from the little cities of Exeter and Winchester.. both of which are known for their beautiful surroundings, charismatic city centres and lack of anything to do other than visit every single coffee shop, pub and boutique in the town.
So London, well, it’s a little different! Don’t get me wrong, the energy is incredible, but it’s nice to know how to switch off from it, from work, and from any other little stresses that life’s decided to throw at you this week.
It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, we all get stressed and a little overwhelmed from time to time. Here’s a couple of tips I’ve learnt in the past year about how to ‘let go’ and switch off…
Natural oils are incredibly relaxing. I’ve been drinking chamomile tea and spraying lavender on my pillow before bed for about 3 months now. Both oils have been proven by several studies to reduce anxiety and slow the heart rate down, plus I just love the smell of lavender! Other amazing oils that help with anxiety and physiological issues such as high blood pressure include vetiver, ylang ylang, rose and bergamot. Try putting a few drops on your pillow at night, on your chest, or even in a bath.
Tip: Use one or two oils at once, they don’t work well when you mix them all together.
Get those speakers on! Whether you want to blare your favourite music out, dance around the house and pretend you’re Beyonce, or relax to your favourite soothing songs. Music will make you feel better- I guarantee it.
Tip: Choose your music genre carefully. If you want to de-stress, listen to low tempo music. If you’re full of energy that you want to let go, that’s the time to act like a raging rock star.
If I didn’t workout, I’m pretty sure I would be a completely different person. Exercising allows me to get rid of any stress and negative energy I may have. Take that stress and turn it into positive energy- you’re going to beat your PB on this 5k, you’re going to smash this workout and be the best you can be. 95% of the goals I’ve set myself have been whilst working out. What do you want to achieve?
Practise mindfulness. How? Yoga and meditation are the best active ways to practise mindfulness, but it doesn’t take a class to start. Next time you read a book, read every single word with thought. Next time you open the car door, feel your skin on the handle, notice how it feels. Be mindful in the present.
5. The Bigger Picture
We get stressed sometimes about the most ridiculous things. Even if it seems like a huge thing, think about the bigger picture. Is this really going to affect your life? Are you really going to give a cr*p about this in a week, a month or a year? The answer is probably not. Close your eyes, think about it and let it go.
London. It’s great right? We’re very lucky to live in such a wonderful city with so much greenery. I actually live on a busy main road, and like many of you Londoners, I don’t see much of this wonderful greenery on my daily commute to work. Today I walked back through the park from my yoga class. I was just about to step back onto the main road before I realised what I really needed. I needed to sit in a quiet space surrounded by nature. So that’s what I did. I sat there, on the cold grass, under a tree for about half an hour and just thought. Think about what environment is going to make you feel better, are you missing a little nature in your life?
Tip: Don’t be scared to look a little weird. Who care’s what the guy walking his dog thinks!